The Catcher in the Rye – Timeline
Holden Caulfield has just been expelled from Pency Prep and is supposed to leave on Wednesday. He goes to see Mr Spencer to say goodbye, but shows irritation when Mr Spencer tries to remind him of his poor academic performance. Holden goes back to his dormitory. Back at his dormitory, Holden tries to read a book but is constantly interrupted by Ackley. He tries to deter him but Ackley doesn’t take the hint. Eventually, Stradlater arrives. Stradlater asks Holden to write him a descriptive English composition, which Holden agrees to. Stradlater reveals that his date is Jean Gallagher, an old friend of Holden’s. Holden shows surprise at this, and proceeds to talk about the things they used to do, such as play checkers. Stradlater isn’t interested in such small talk, and soon leaves. Holden has dinner then leaves with his friend Mal Brossard and Ackley to hang around in Agerstown, a nearby town. They return to their dormitories, and Ackley parks himself in Holden’s bed, despite the hints for him to get off. Holden writes about his dead brother Allie’s baseball bat for Stradlater. Stradlater returns, and isn’t pleased with the work about a baseball glove. Holden takes it and rips it into pieces. Holden then asks him if he had sex with Jane, and doesn’t get a straight response. Holden loses his temper and tries to fight Stradlater, resulting in a bleeding nose. Holden cleans himself up and goes over to Ackley’s room. He says that he fought Stradlater to defend Ackley’s name. He harasses Ackley for a while then decides to leave early and spend a few days in a hotel. After packing up, he heads off. He walks to the train station and catches the train. A woman sits next to him and reveals that he’s the mother of Ernest Morrow, another Pency Prep student. He makes up a lie about how her son is popular then talks for a while until she leaves. Holden gets off at Penn Station and goes to the phone booth but can’t think of anyone to phone at that time. He asks the taxi driver about where the ducks in Central Park South go when the lagoon freezes, but is only greeted with ridicule. He catches a taxi and absent-mindedly gives the driver his normal home address, but only remembers after half of the journey. He’s on a one way road, so he asks the driver to go to Edmont Hotel. From the window of his hotel room, Holden witnesses some strange acts, such as a man dressing as a woman and a couple squirting water at each other. He decides to phone Faith Cavendish, a former stripper whose phone number was given to Holden by a friend. Holden thinks he can convince her to have sex with him. However, she’s unable to meet him on that night, and Holden declines going for a drink the following morning. Holden goes over to the Lavender Room, a night club in the hotel. Holden orders alcohol, but isn’t served by the waiter. He meets three women around the age of thirty, and dances with one of them. He tries to flirt a bit but they weren’t much for conversation. They leave and he has to pay their tab. Holden soon leaves the Lavender Room and sits in the lobby listening to the musicians perform, and thinks about going to Ernie’s, a night club. He goes out and gets another taxi. He asks the driver where the ducks go again, but nothing useful comes out of it. He gets off at Ernie’s. He watches Ernie play the piano, then notices that the club is full of ‘jerks’, such as a man telling his girlfriend about every detail of a football game. He smokes and drinks by himself, and is approached by Lillian Simmons, an old friend of D.B, who is with a naval officer. They make small talk for a bit and Lillian invites him to their table but Holden makes his excuses and leaves. Holden walks back to the hotel drunk and meets Maurice in the elevator, who offers him a prostitute. Holden agrees for five dollars and goes back to his room. The prostitute Sunny comes along but Holden starts having second thoughts and wants to talk...
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